published: 18.10.2013, 09:56 | updated: 18.10.2013 10:03:42
Prague - Thousands of Czechs annually die of diseases caused by dust particles in the air, which killed 5,500 people in the 10.5-million Czech Republic in 2012, according to the Czech Health Institute´s estimates, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes today.
Another 1839 Czechs were hospitalised with illnesses rlated to air pollution last year - 699 with acute heart troubles and 1140 with acute respiratory problems.
These figures have been similar for years, LN adds.
It writes that the Czech Republic is ignoring recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) saying fine dust pollution limits should be under ten micro-grammes per cubic metre.
The Czech limit is 2.5 times higher, doctor Miroslav Suta, from the Centre for the Environment and Health, told LN.
The paper recalls that the Town Hall in Ostrava, north Moravia, has even filed a complaint against the Czech government over air pollution in the city since the state did not take sufficient measures to improve the situation.
A lower-level court rejected the first complaint three years ago. The Prague City Court is to deal with the second complaint today.
However, Environment Ministry spokesman Matyas Vitik says the Ostrava Town Hall will probably fail again in court.
"The state is taking a number of steps to improve the air quality," Vitik told LN, citing the exchange of old boilers in households among the examples.
The industrial and coal-mining area around Ostrava and Karvina is one of the most polluted localities not only in the Czech Republic but also in Central Europe.
Children from these localities suffer from asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory troubles provoked by bad air ten times more often than elsewhere in the Czech Republic, LN writes.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) also points to bad air in the Czech Republic, which ranks among the worst countries in terms of fine dust pollution, along with Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, LN notes.
"According to the EEA´s report, about one-third of Czech cities´ inhabitants breath air polluted above the EU permissible limits," Sita told LN.
Fine dust particles in the air probably provoke lung cancer as well, which some studies indicate, LN says.
Marie Neira, from the WHO, points out that the death toll related to bad air is to increase since the fossil fuels consumption has been rising in the world.
Neira says smog and toxic substances in the air will thus become one of the biggest killers of mankind, LN writes.
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